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Posted at 02:04 PM ET, 11/26/2012

Elon Musk sheds more light on plans for Mars colony


Elon Musk outlined more details of his vision for a colony on Mars. The SpaceX founder and chief executive officer, seen here with one of the company's space capsules in 2008, spoke with Space.com contributor Rob Coppinger. (MARKHAM JOHNSON - VIA BLOOMBERG NEWS)

Elon Musk has big plans for Mars.

The Space Explorations (SpaceX) founder revealed more of his vision for a future colony on the Red Planet in an appearance at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London on Nov.16 and in an interview with Space.com contributor Rob Coppinger. The colony, which Musk says he would like to be a public-private joint venture (far from alien territory for Musk’s SpaceX) would have up to 80,000 inhabitants. The first group of adventurers would include fewer than 10 people, with each paying $500,000 for the ride on a reusable rocket fueled by liquid oxygen and methane.

The first colonists would land with equipment to begin generating crops, leveraging the nitrogen and carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere as well as subsurface ice. According to Musk, the venture would require approximately $36 billion in funding.

This isn’t the first time Musk has mentioned plans for Mars. In September, during an interview with “CBS This Morning,” Musk said that two years ago he found “the calculations worked out,” leading him to believe that colonizing Mars would be possible. Musk went on to say that he believed it would be possible to terraform Mars, which he then called a “fixer-upper of a planet.”

In an August interview with ABC’s Nightline, shortly after NASA’s rover Curiosity landed on Mars, Musk said that he sought to put a human being on Mars in “12 to 15 years.”

“I’m confident at this point,” the South African entrepreneur said at the time, “it can be done.”

For now, SpaceX is shuttling cargo to and from the international space station, the first private company to do so. Spacex has yet, however, to shuttle a human being into outer space and back.

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By  |  02:04 PM ET, 11/26/2012

 
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